Another lifetime ago a gaggle of us worked together, more or less, in a shared office. Roger, Robin, Bob, David and I were (I have always believed) called Radio Oops behind our backs. I deserved the title, but everyone else was truly the Radio Operations staff, keeping long hours trying to move the needle of high fidelity in broadcast entertainment forward sometimes in increments only we could hear.
In a moment of slap-happiness brought on by fatigue from too many hours of grinding away, Bob, after listening to a travel feature on Belgian agriculture which offered ‘the potato is a Belgian staple,’ tried to fasten together some papers and asked one of us to pass him the Belgian Potato. From that moment on, we howled like hyenas every time someone even touched a stapler.
I was thinking of staplers today, and how hard it always was to remove the staples from magazines with articles and other items of interest you wished to save as I read of a seismic shift at Playboy magazine.
Growing up in the Age of Ike and during JFK’s New Frontier, we pre-pubescent boys had heard rumors of something called Playboy, and those with older brothers may have done more than hear, while the rest of us began our sojourn to manhood sneaking peeks at uncovered peaks (ahem) in the pages of National Geographic Magazine. Hey! It was better than learning about it out on the playground, at least the one near my house.
And now, fructifying fantasies will be another casualty of repurposing and (ack!) growing up. Perhaps in the next Playboy magazine Brooklyn Decker will moderate a print soiree on triumphs and tragedies the English Romantics Movement of the Nineteenth Century (yes, I’m looking at you Thomas Herrick). That alone should be worth the price of the subscription, plus the pages won’t stick together anymore.
Is Playboy, as USA Today speculates, about to be another souvenir of an American Past we have passed out of or are the young American (and other) males sated by a surfeit of unrestricted visuals on other platforms and coming around to a better appreciation of the virtues of concealment?
From Pinot to pin-ups, the world continues to turn. I guess we’ll always have scotch tape, push comes to shove, while girls that don’t exist are haunting me.